The NBA offseason has been chock full of excitement so far. We’ve seen blockbuster trades, massive free-agent contracts and an increased concentration of talent in the Western Conference. However, the first wave of free agency has reached its end, so the activity is likely about to die down.
There simply aren’t many big names left on the free-agent market. With rosters filling up around the league, we aren’t likely to see a ton of big trades before the start of the regular season either. However, this doesn’t mean the trade market has completely dried up.
Here, we’re going to examine some of the lingering trade rumors circulating the NBA as free agency winds down.
Rockets Getting Closer to Acquiring Anthony—With a 4-Team Deal
Carmelo Anthony remains one of the biggest names on the trade market—primarily because the New York Knicks are eager to move him and the $54 million he’s owed over the next two years. Anthony has made it clear that he’d be willing to accept a trade to the Houston Rockets or the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Anthony holds a no-trade clause in his contract. ESPN’s Ian Begley reported earlier this week that Anthony believed a deal with Houston was close.
“I’m told that Carmelo feels pretty confident that a deal will get done at this point to Houston,” Begley said during a recent appearance on SportsCenter (h/t CBSSports.com). “But the teams, to date, are nowhere near the finish line, because it’s so tough for the Knicks and Rockets to get a deal together one-to-one.
Well, the Rockets may have drawn a step closer to figuring out how to acquire Anthony. According to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Houston and New York are working on a four-team deal to get the trade to completion:
“The New York Knicks and Houston Rockets have expanded the scope of a possible Carmelo Anthony trade to include four-team scenarios, league sources told ESPN. No deal was imminent Wednesday, but the Knicks and Rockets are confident that they have a willing third-team trade partner, the sources said. The fourth team was needed to move a particular player contract that neither the Knicks nor Rockets could or would accept in the deal, league sources said.”
Any deal involving Anthony is likely to involve some creative salary management on the part of the team acquiring him. This is especially true for Houston—a team that acquired Chris Paul and just gave James Harden a massive contract extension.
It’s completely understandable that the Rockets would try to involve other teams here, and it appears they’re closing in on some additional partners.
No Sign-and-Trade for Hayward
The Utah Jazz were dealt a pretty sizable blow when star forward Gordon Hayward agreed to join the Boston Celtics. However, it briefly looked like the Jazz would be able to at least get something in return via a sign-and-trade.
According to Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com, the Celtics and Jazz had discussed a sign-and-trade that would potentially ship Jae Crowder to Utah. Hayward and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, had agreed to help get a sign-and-trade done, too, according to Tony Jones and Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune.
While a sign-and-trade would have helped take some of the sting out of the Hayward departure, it appears such a move was not to be.
According to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, a sign-and trade is unlikely to happen before Hayward officially signs with Boston:
“Although not nearly as devastating a blow as losing Hayward to Boston—as the All-Star recently announced would happen—the Jazz have not been able to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics, according to sources. Barring an unexpected breakthrough in the next few days, no deal between the two teams will happen.”
This clearly doesn’t affect things for Boston, as the team already knew it was getting Hayward. However, it is another blow to Utah fans who haven’t enjoyed the greatest of offseasons.
Pistons, Pelicans Discussing Jackson Trade
Carmelo isn’t the only player who could be on the move via a trade this week. According to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, the Detroit Pistons has discussed trading point guard Reggie Jackson to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for E’Twaun Moore and Alexis Ajinca:
Such a deal would unload Jackson and the $51 million remaining on his current contract. The Pelicans, meanwhile, would get a backup point guard to play behind recently re-signed Jrue Holiday.
On paper, this looks like a better deal for the Pistons. Jackson is coming off an injury-hampered season in which he averaged just 14.5 points per game and shot 41.9 percent from the floor.
However, quality depth cannot be overvalued. Just look at this year’s NBA Finals for proof. Yes, the Golden State Warriors were clearly the better team, but let’s not just brush over the fact the Cavaliers starters outscored Golden State’s starters 482-463 in the five-game series.
Jackson could be a tremendous second-unit point guard for the Pelicans, who are developing a nice young core to build upon. Without as much wear and tear on him, Jackson might be able to get back to the form that earned him a big contract from Detroit in the first place.
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